After receiving backlash from fans and the Black community for criticizing Colin Kaepernick’s NFL “no show” workout, ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith took to First Take sports show yesterday to defend his criticisms.
Hours before the former 49ers quarterback was scheduled to workout at the Falcons’ facility, he and his team called an audible, changing the workout’s location to an Atlanta-area high school for transparency purposes.
Reportedly, Kaepernick and his representatives didn’t agree to sign the league’s liability waiver that rejected their proposed standard waiver from physical injury. In addition, the venue change allowed the media to attend, who his camp says would’ve been shut out of at Flowery Branch.
Kaepernick held his workout at the alternative location where only eight NFL teams were reportedly in attendance as opposed to the 25 teams that were said to already have been present at the initial location. However, the workout was filmed and has been sent out to all 32 clubs.
Following the scene of events, Smith released a video expressing that Kaepernick didn’t want to be in the NFL and that he wanted to be a martyr instead.
Fans and mainly the Black community then went into a frenzy on social media criticizing the famed sports journalist and his comments, alluding to him as an “Uncle Tom” in some instances.
Consequently, Smith went on air to respond to that backlash.
“When I sit up there, and I sat here yesterday, and I spoke about how his points are eradicated, I’m not talking about the kneeling,” Smith said. “I’m not talking about the protesting. I’m a black man, you idiots! You think I have a problem with a man that is kneeling and protesting racial oppression and police brutality?”